A special place

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, it is a special place where I spend my afternoon."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We Be "Jammin''

   Kayaking is one of the biggest recreational sports on St. George Island and all around the area. So, it seemed like a good place to try and break the Guinness book of world records, for the biggest kayak raft. A raft, meaning that every kayak had to be connected to another. Well, we didn't break the record, but everybody had a great time trying.
Everybody meets at the park
   Approximately 350 people, from all over, came for the event. Paddlers from as far as Colorado and Montana came, just to be a part of the spectacle. Some people brought their own kayaks, others rented one when they got here. There weren't quite the 2,100 kayaks that were needed to break the record, but for the first year of having the event, it was a great turn out.
Heading out to the Bay
   The idea came from a pastor on the island. Organize a full weekend of fun and paddling, with the theme being "paddle to love, and love to paddle", and try to break a world record in the process. So, on Saturday, about a dozen vendors set up in Apalachicola at a park under the bridge that connects Apalachicola with Eastpoint. 
   The paddlers took to the water about noon and paddled out into the bay, to a small island about a mile out
"Paddles up"

   It took about an hour for everyone to get out to the island. When we started bunching up to make the raft, we were instructed to put our paddles up in the air, so we could  get close enough to hold on to each other's kayak without someone getting hit in the head with the paddle.
"Back to the Bridge everybody"
   When everyone finally got a hold of each other, it felt like a real accomplishment. Planes flew overhead, taking aerial photographs of the spectacle.  
On Sunday, you could stand up and paddle, or sit down and peddle!
  Then on Sunday,the fun moved over to St. George Island, for Stand Up Paddleboard Day. There was a morning service on the beach, looking out onto the bay, followed by a stand up paddleboard race, a kayak race, yoga on the beach, food, music, and free paddle board lessons for anyone wanting to learn.
And of course, dogs were welcome to ride along.
   With the help of the Coast Guard, St. George Island Rescue, and several privately owned support boats, the weekend was a huge success, with proceeds from the weekend, going to "at risk" children, youth, and families, of the Apalachicola-St. George Island Cooperative Parrish.
   In the next week or two, a meeting will take place to review this year's "Paddle Jam"  and start planning for next year. And if things go as planned, in a few years, the "Forgotten Coast" will be "remembered" for making the biggest kayak raft in the world!

1 comment:

  1. Very colorful site with all the kayaks. Maybe next year St George will make the Guinness book.